Jasmin's Witch

Ladurie Emmanuel LeRoy, Author, Le Roy Ladurie Emmanuel, Author, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Author George Braziller $18.5 (222p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1181-4
Pearce's translation from the French preserves the flavor of Ladurie's assiduously researched history. The author, internationally praised for such landmark studies as Carnival in Romans, sought the origins of a poem written in 1840 by Jacques Boeknown as Jasminabout ""Francouneto,'' a witch. A version of the ballad follows Laudurie's accounts of the witch's trials, as well as stories of accusations against a couple who work evil through their powerful, magic mandrake. Jasmin's quiet wit touches upon the bigotry among the Gascon villagers, obsessed by ``devil-worship.'' In part three, there are details supporting Ladurie's belief that the witch, ``little Francoise,'' an actual person, lived in the diocese of Condom during the late 17th century, not the mid-16th as the poem suggests. This is a significant distinction, for attitudes on witchcraft had changed by the latter era, which explains the heroine's survival. In a postscript to this edition, Ladurie responds to a French critic who disputes his interpretation. Illustrations. (August 18)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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